One of the fastest growing restaurant chains in Manila, it’s quite surprising to learn that Chic-Boy is just over a year old. Goes to show how good food at affordable prices is the ideal formula for success. The Makati branch has intrigued me for ages, but it was a branch at Molito, Alabang that finally introduced me to their delectable grilled repertoire.
It was another evening of being afflicted with the I-don’t-want-to-cook-let’s-eat-out-at-someplace-cheap-itis and Chic-Boy sounded like a good place to try. My mother heard about the ginormous shakers of fried garlic that littered the tables. I heard about the yummy dishes from online sources. Pad just heard his tummy growling.
Chic-Boy looks like your usual fastfood. You order at the counter, you find a place at one of the long tables—sharing with other customers if you must—and wait for the food to come. The restaurant’s name is a portmanteau of chicken and baboy (pork), so a decision had to be made: do we go with the chic or the boy? Faced with three hungry mouths, we opted to get half a lechon manok, a whole liempo and some garlicky adobong kangkong—you know, to stay healthy. Dilemma happily resolved.
I could write down various permutations of nomming and gobbling sounds here, punctuated by the occasional “Ang sarap!” but that would make you guys think less of me, right? Unfortunately, it was a truthful description of the rest of the meal. There was much munching and happiness at our table.
Chic-Boy’s offerings are patterned after Cebu’s famous lechon manok and liempo. Moist and suffused with flavor, their generous servings come with a side of vinegar, much like how they do it in Cebu. Flavored with tanglad and other spices, there is no need to add more flavors with strong sauces. There’s vinegar but it’s just there to cut the richness and to add a contrasting tang to the meat. Oh sure, there’s a bottle of liver-based lechon sauce on the table, but I’ve a feeling you’ll break all the hearts of the chickens and baboys if you smother them with that.
The adobong kangkong, or perhaps the fried garlic bits with kangkong, is a good side to all the meaty goings on at the table. Aside from assuaging our guilty consciences (Chicken! Pork! Cholesterol!), it offered a welcome contrast to the bites of meat.
That unplanned dinner at Chic-Boy was definitely satisfying and very reasonably priced. It’s easily a restaurant you’ll want to come back to. Here’s to hoping they maintain quality as the chain grows. Whether you prefer chicken or pork, there’s meaty goodness to be found here.